Friday, February 25, 2011

Gluten-free, Vegan Carrot Muffins

This muffin fresh from the oven won't last long.
We baked the carrot cake that I posted last on this blog as muffins, and it was a great success.  I just had to show you some samples to wet your appetite.

It's going to go fast.
The recipe made 16 muffins.  I baked them for 25 minutes.  If your muffin eaters don't like strong spice, decrease the cinnamon and ginger in the recipe, as you probably won't put frosting on top of muffins.  The frosting balances out the spiciness in the cake recipe.  Find the recipe here.

One bite left . . . gone.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gluten-free, Vegan Carrot Orange Cake, With Coconut Orange Frosting

Grandma says the cake tasted "really good!"

We needed a birthday cake in our family last week, and I got to be the one to bake it.  Gluten free baking is not easy, so I avoid it when possible.  But it wasn't possible this time.  This cake had to be what my family calls, "everything free", and still taste good to the extended family with no known food limitations.  But since it wasn't for my husband, it didn't really make it "everything free", and included more oil and sugar then normal.  I decided that carrot cake would be a good risk.  I looked at a lot of recipes on line, gathered some ideas, and then crafted my own recipe.

I think it turned out pretty good.  It was delicate in texture, as many gluten free baked goods are, but it had a nice texture.

To see what the cake looks like as muffins, without frosting, or to get a few ideas on how to turn this cake recipe into muffins or cupcakes, go to this page.

Gluten-free Vegan Carrot-Orange Cake
(Soy-free, corn-free, nut-free, and pineapple-free, too)
By Barbara at

1 cup rice milk (or other milk)
3 T Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 cup rice flour
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free flour mix, (or a mixture of garbonzo flour, and potato starch)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup coconut flour (grind up in your grinder or Vita-Mix)
1/4 cup ground chia seeds (or flax seeds)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (or other sugar)
3 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup orange, peeled, and blended (about 1 orange)

1.  Set the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8" round cake pans with palm shortening or some other kind of oil, and then dust with rice flour, pouring off the excess.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the rice milk and Egg Replacer and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, starting with the rice flour, and moving down to the turbinado sugar.  Mix thoroughly.  Add the grated carrots and mix.

4.  In the medium bowl in step number 2, add the blended orange, and oil, and mix.  Add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in step number 3, and mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients, but don't over mix.

5.  Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans and slip into the oven.  Bake 35 - 40 minutes.  Remove from oven, and cool in the pans.  This is a delicate, but flavorful cake.  Don't remove them from the pans until they are cool and you are ready to frost it.  It will frost easier if you freeze the cake layers first.  Then lay a flat plate on top of the cake pan, and carefully flip the cake over, and slide onto your cake serving tray.  Spread frosting on top of that layer.  Then put the plate onto the second cake, carefully flip it onto the plate, and then gently slide it onto the frosted bottom layer.  Then frost the whole cake.

Coconut Orange Frosting
By Barbara at

3/4 cup of the thickest part of a can of coconut milk (If there isn't a thick layer, set it in the refrigerator for a couple hours until it separates)
1 cup palm shortening (non-hydrogenated)
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla (gluten free if needed)
1/2 to 1 tsp orange oil or flavoring (adjust amount to desired taste)
2 or more cups of powdered sugar (not all kinds are gluten free)

Place all ingredients, except the powdered sugar into a mixer bowl, or into a food processor.  Mix until very smooth.  Add powdered sugar, add more if needed for taste or texture.

Garbanzo Olive Dip

We have a new dip that we are making at home, and Grandma says we have to make it again.  So I'm sharing the recipe with you, so I can remember what I put in it too.  We used it for dipping some new chips made out of just popcorn and sea salt, but of course they would be good for other chips too, and as a nice spread for some rice cakes, corn thins, or of course a sandwich with homemade bread.

Garbanzo Olive Dip
By Barbara at

2 cans of garbonzos, drained (14 oz. cans)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped or pressed
1/8 of an onion, more or less
1/4 cup tahini
1 medium tomato, or a large handful of cherry tomatoes
juice of one lemon
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt, if desired
1 can of olives, drained (ripes green ones are especially delicious)

Dump everything into the food processor, except the olives, and process with the sharp S-Blade until everything is ground down and moving easy.  Dump in the olives, and process until they are chopped up in little pieces you can still see, but avoid grinding them down to nothing, unless you prefer that texture.  Serve.

If you don't have a food processor, here is an idea to do it in a basic blender.

First, pre-mash your garbanzos a bit with a fork.  Put them in the blender with the tomato cut in chunks, and the lemon juice.  Blend, and scrape, until you have it at a more dip like consistency.  Scrape it out into a bowl, and then add ingredients.  Instead of using raw onion and garlic, mix in more onion and garlic powder.  Use chopped olives instead of pitted olives.  Mix everything together and then start dipping, spread in your sandwich, or on your Corn Thins.